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Ravens know it's a great time to play the Steelers

Pittsburgh SteelersFootballBen RoethlisbergerCleveland BrownsCharlie BatchAntonio Brown

The Ravens aren't done catching breaks, not by a long shot. Now they get to play the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium at the perfect time, when their archrivals are beaten up and reeling from two straight losses, including that 20-14 horror show against the Cleveland Browns two days ago.

Tell me they're not living right over at the Castle these days.

Ben Roethlisberger is still hurting from his shoulder and rib injuries, although he says he's going to try to play against the Ravens. Good luck with that plan, when the doctors are saying a big hit in just the right place could actually be life-threatening for the veteran quarterback. And the rest of the Steelers are a bruised and battered bunch, too, including wide receiver Antonio Brown, the team's Most Valuable Player last season.

If Roethlisberger plays Superman and suits up Sunday, maybe the Steelers have a chance. If not, they're probably toast.

Without Roethlisberger at quarterback, third-string backup Charlie Batch was absolutely dreadful (three second-half interceptions, a QB rating of 38.7) in that deflating loss to the Browns.

And the Steelers running backs didn't help matters with four fumbles -- in true democratic fashion or an effort to spread the ineptitude, each back fumbled once.

In addition to all the turnovers, they were hurt by a ton of penalties, poor decision-making on offense and ... well, you get the idea. It was a bad day all around for the black-and-gold. And now they get to play the Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium, with the home team coming off its most inspirational win of the season, a win that has totally turbo-charged the Ravens' confidence.

Hoo, boy. Good luck getting some sleep this week, Mike Tomlin.

On the other hand, the Steelers are still 6-5, with a playoff berth definitely within their grasp if Roethlisberger comes back soon or they find another quarterback who can actually throw the ball. And there's no doubt they'll get up to play the Ravens, the way they always do.

Still, there's no question the Ravens are catching the Steelers at the right time. And everyone at the Castle knows it.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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Pittsburgh SteelersFootballBen RoethlisbergerCleveland BrownsCharlie BatchAntonio Brown
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